So you want to shoot your first precision match
I was recently asked by a mutual friend, if his friend should shoot the BCRA Precision Rifle Championship happening in Chilliwack, June 23-25, 2017. My answer to these questions that pop up from time to time is inevitably a resounding and emphatic YES get out and shoot a precision match! (Or any match for that matter!) It seems like it could be a daunting thing to come out to a match for the first time; especially when it’s two full days, and long range. This couldn’t be further from the truth! You will encounter so much help to get you going, as well as tips along the way to make your first time out a memorable, and fun time. Everyone, in my experience, has been very helpful and welcoming to new shooters; especially people that are tentative.
What is it like?
The match is three days long – with the first day (Friday June 23, 2017) being a zeroing day. Here is the run-down:
- Friday – walk-backs/zeroing. This day gives you time at each distance, confirming your zero at each distance, and making sure that your dope matches what you are seeing on target. Typically this is done with a partner via radio to mark your hits on target. (Please see bold edit at end of the page for current information on walk-backs)
- Targets – bring these for walk-backs
- Bring a radio if you can, to communicate with your partner in the butts (if not – make sure that you guys hash out how you will mark your targets after each shot)
- Enough extra ammo to shoot anywhere from 1-20 rounds per distance
- Saturday – longer ranges. This day usually starts back at 600m with a cold bore shot and finishes the day up at 400m. You’ll be shooting some fairly small targets at 600, as well as movers.
- Sunday – closer ranges. This day is from 1-300m – featuring the infamous “Dots of Doom” which is a variation on this guy here. This day will also feature some positional shooting, like off a modified rooftop.
What do I need to do if I have never shot that far?
Here is a basic way to get out there and shoot this match. With your rifle of choice, I would suggest doing the following:
Before the match:
- Buy 3-4 different types of ammo in your caliber of choice. Cheap ammo up to match ammo.
- Confirm your zero at 100m
- Get some range time in with this ammo, see which one works best in your rifle by shooting some groups at a distance you are comfortable at – 100m?
- Once you have decided, based on your targets from above, choose that ammo for the match
- Most boxes of ammo will have velocity data on the side, for 100m – from this you can calculate your drops at all distances 1-600m.
- Come to the Friday walk-backs and confirm your zero at 100m
- Using the dope from above, shoot from 1-600m
- Validate the dope you calculated works for you and you are making hits on target (your partner will indicate these for you)
- Shoot the match on Saturday and Sunday, and most importantly
- HAVE FUN!
I generally look at it this way – if you take away the fact that you are shooting a competition, you are being given the opportunity to shoot out to 600m, on a military range for 3 full days for a very cheap price. It’s not often, in practice we get a chance to do this.
What to bring?
There is some basic stuff to bring with you for each day – I’ll go over some of the basics of what you should bring with you:
- Rifle!. Typically you will shoot off a bipod, and shooting bags.
- Your scope of choice, pre-zeroed. Ideally you should have a scope with target turrets for easier adjustments during the match
- Ammo. Bring enough for the match, and walk-backs. The round count will be released with the course of fire. Bring a bit more just in case
- Something to shoot on, like a shooting mat
- Ear protection
- Eye protection
- Dress for the weather, and then bring contingency clothing! Chilliwack at this time of year, can go from torrential rain to 30+ all in the same weekend. I suggest bringing shorts as well as rain gear. This is up to you – check the weather beforehand.
- Sunscreen if there is sun – prone in the scorching sun for 8 hours is a recipe for a sunburn
- Water – see above. Stay hydrated
- Snacks. Keep fed so you have energy
- A hat is always good as are sunglassess if it is sunny
- Good footwear
- A backpack for ammo and the incidentals above
- A case for your rifle if you choose
- Targets. You will need to provide your own targets for walk-backs
- Radios. If you have ’em – it will make your walk-backs way easier as you can communicate with your partner in the butts for walk-backs
Here are some handy links to check out for match information, sponsors and retailers.
- BCRA Website – the governing body for matches at the military range.
- BC Precision Rifle Website – the home of the BC Precision Rifle Championship.
- Eventbrite event – all you need to register online
- Mail-in forms from BC Precision Rifle
- JSA Tactical – if you need shooting bags, mats or databook covers
- Wanstalls – great place to buy your ammo, rifle, scopes etc
- Amputee Shooter facebook page – I am happy to field questions here!
- MDT – Modular Driven Technologies – match sponsor
- Other match sponsors will be added as I see them!
See you there!!!!
**Ninja Edit** Thanks to Reno over at JSA – he has informed me that walk-backs are 3-600m, so knowing your 1 and 200m zeroes is imperative!!